AUSTIN, MINN. – A July survey conducted by Applegate Farms, a subsidiary of Hormel Foods Corp., confirmed the popularity of hot dogs and hamburgers as the fare most US consumers associate with summer while taking a deeper dive at consumers’ preferences and personality traits associated with those most likely to consume these summertime staples. 

Some of the highlights of the survey of about 2,000 consumers were that about 53% of Americans consider hot dogs to be in the sandwich category; ketchup is the top-rated condiment among 63% of respondents while mustard is preferred by 27%. Among the mustard-ketchup users, mustard fans were associated with being more adventurous eaters (42%) compared to those preferring ketchup (27%) as a condiment. Among respondents preferring hot dogs ahead of hamburgers, 34% of them identified as being picky eaters while considering themselves single-task oriented (24% compared to 19% of burger fans) and extroverts (24%) compared to 19% of their burger-eating counterparts. 

Marketers with Applegate used the results of the survey to promote its natural and organic meat products and how they address summer eating trends. 

“There are many debates surrounding summer food favorites, but one thing that shouldn't be up for debate is the quality of the ingredients that go into those foods,” said Nicole Glenn, vice president of Applegate’s brand Strategy & Innovation. “Applegate is proud to provide summer staples like hot dogs and burgers that are 100% natural, full of flavor, and made with clean, simple ingredients.”

Other survey results revealed preferences among consumers when eating summer fare. For example, 57% said they put condiments on hot dog buns before adding the meat, with 25% of them stating it is less messy. On the topic of toppings, 60% of respondents said vegetables are a preferred topping of burgers and hot dogs, with 66% reporting that they add lettuce to burgers and hot dogs and 58% use pickles to top them.  

Most Americans said they associate hot dogs and burgers with summer activities and venues, including backyard barbecues (69% for hot dogs, 75% for burgers), sports arenas (50% for hot dogs and burgers) and amusement parks (45% for hot dogs, 32% for burgers).

The personality traits linked to hot dog and hamburger eaters included:

    More than half of burger fans (52%) consider themselves to be open minded and responsible, compared to 46% of hot dog fans. 

    More burger lovers believe they are more kind than hot dog enthusiasts (57% of burger lovers versus 52% of hot dog eaters); and

    Among burger eaters, 47% consider themselves funny, compared to 42% of hot dog lovers.